Child sexual abuse could be the worst nightmare for any parent, but it is more common than you imagine. Statistics indicate that the biggest risk to children comes from friends and family rather than from strangers. You can hardly suspect a teacher, instructor, caregiver, or even a friend or a relative abusing your child, but these things happen for real.
Sex crimes and sexual abuse at any age can leave the young victim scarred for a lifetime, and the worst part is that they may not speak up. As a parent, it is your responsibility to be vigilant about the warning signs of this heinous crime so that you can save the victim before it is too late. Here are the ones you should watch out for regarding sexual abuse in children.
Although physical signs of sexual abuse are seldom visible in kids, you should be watchful about anything that appears suspicious. Pain, bleeding, and redness in the genital areas are reasons to worry, particularly if the child is apprehensive about discussing them, says Huff Post. Urinary tract infections and abnormal genital discharge are also signs to watch out for. If your kid complains about pain during urination and bowel movements, take them to a doctor. At times, the young victim may not even be aware that they are being abused, and a medical examination is the only way to validate it.
While physical signs can help you understand that your child is being victimized, there are some behavioral symptoms you should be aware of. Night terrors or bedwetting, depression, anxiety, PTSD, withdrawn behavior, tantrums, absence and drop in grades in school, and regressive behaviors like thumb-sucking are indications of something being amiss. If the child shrinks away from normal physical contact and refuses to speak, the problem requires immediate attention.
Dealing with possible child abuse
Child abuse is a sex crime and needs to be dealt with firmly. Take your child in confidence if you want to find the culprit. Also, keep an eye on people you suspect and take legal action once you are sure. The guilty person will get an attorney to defend charges for sex crimes, so you must have strong evidence to support the allegation. It is vital to make sure that the perpetrator is punished, not only to secure justice for your kid but also to save other potential victims.
Supporting your child
Life is challenging for a young abuse victim, and parents can play a crucial role in bringing things on track for them. According to BBC, you need to support the child and be there for them. The most significant aspect is to believe them because it is where parents often go wrong when someone close to abuses the child. Therapy, counseling, and support groups can also help the kid deal with the trauma.
Child sexual abuse is a daunting experience for victims and parents, and you may want to hide facts. Trying to overlook things or hiding facts will make the situation only worse. Talk and listen, and be willing to take legal action against the guilty person, even if it is someone you know and trust.